An Overview of Generic Allergy Medicines

Allergy medicine can get expensive. Fortunately, many medications are available in generic form, which typically translates to a lower cost. 

When a medication loses its patent, other companies are free to market the medication in a generic form. In addition, the Food and Drug Administration has approved many allergy medicines for over-the-counter (OTC) use.

If you suffer from allergies, talk to your healthcare provider about the right medications for treating your symptoms. 

A pharmacist helps a mature customer learn how to take her prescription medication.
Terry Vine / Blend Images / Getty Images

Antihistamines

An allergy is an immune response to substances that are not usually harmful. In people with allergies, an overly sensitive immune response releases a chemical known as histamine that causes allergy symptoms. Antihistamines relieve these symptoms.

Antihistamines are available both OTC and by prescription. Most health insurance companies cover some or all of the cost of prescription medicines, but do not pay for OTC drugs.

OTC Antihistamines
Brand Name Generic Name

Allegra

Fexofenadine

Benadryl

Diphenhydramine

Chlor-Trimeton

Chlorpheniramine

Clarinex

Desloratadine

Claritin

Loratadine

Tavist

Clemastine

Xyzal

Levocetirizine

Zyrtec

Cetirizine

Prescription Antihistamines
Brand Name Generic Name
Vistaril Hydroxyzine

Allergy Nasal Sprays

For people whose primary allergy symptom is rhinitis, nasal sprays can provide effective relief of congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and other irritating symptoms. Nasal spray formulations can include antihistamines, decongestants, steroids, mast cell inhibitors, or a combination of different classes of medications.

OTC Nasal Sprays
Brand Name Generic Name
Afrin Oxymetazoline
Flonase Fluticasone propionate
Nasalide Flunisolide
Nasacort AQ Triamcinolone acetonide
Nasalcrom Cromolyn sodium
Patanase Olopatadine
Rhinocort Budesonide
Sensimist Fluticasone furoate
Veramyst Fluticasone furoate
Prescription Nasal Sprays
Brand Name Generic Name
Astelin/Astepro Azelastine
Nasonex Mometasone furoate monohydrate
Omnaris Ciclesonide
Q-Nasl Beclomethasone diproprionate
Zetonna Ciclesonide
Xhance Fluticasone propionate

Allergy Eye Drops

For itchy, watery, red, or irritated eyes, many allergy sufferers find quick relieve with eye drops. Allergy eye drops are available OTC or by prescription as brand names and generics, and may include antihistamines, corticosteroids, mast cell stabilizers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or combination formulas. 

OTC Eye Drops
Brand Name Generic Name

Alaway

Ketotifen fumarate

Claritin Eye

Ketotifen fumarate

Naphcon-A

Naphazoline/pheniramine

Opcon-A

Naphazoline/pheniramine

Refresh Eye

Ketotifen fumarate

Visine A

Naphazoline/pheniramine

Zaditor

Ketotifen fumarate
Prescription Eye Drops
Brand Name Generic Name

Opticrom

Cromolyn
Vasocon A Antazoline/naphazoline

A Word From Verywell

When it comes to getting the best price for medications, it can help to shop around. For many insurance policies, generic-brand medicines are preferred over name-brand prescriptions, and your out-of-pocket costs will be lower. Check with your pharmacist about prices or use an online source like GoodRx.com that compares prices at different locations in your area.

Was this page helpful?
4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Antihistamines for allergies.

  2. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. AAAAI allergy & asthma medication guide.

  3. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Nasal sprays.

  4. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Eye drops.

Additional Reading